Steven Peters

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Artist Statement

In my sculptures I look for the elusive beauty that embraces awkwardness, the harmony within dissonance, a spacious visceral energy.  In that quest, I find the expressive potential of clay – in form, surface and color – make it a potent medium.  I try to approach my work as direct experience, free of conceptual overlay, and hope viewers can relate to it in that spirit.

Selected Biography

Steven Peters received his art training in the late 1960s at Antioch College and the New York Studio School, and more recently studied ceramics at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.  His primary media have been welded steel, plaster and clay.  His work has been exhibited in Nova Scotia and New York City, where his ceramic wall pieces won second prize in the Ground Arts 2012 Painting & Sculpture Competition.


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Steven Peters

About Steven Peters

I received my art training in the late 1960s at Antioch College and the New York Studio School. Those were the early years of the Studio School, where a dynamic group of abstract expressionist artists provided a vibrant creative environment as well as a firm grounding in European artistic tradition. In the early ‘70s I set up a sculpture studio in Berkeley, California, where I worked in welded steel, clay and plaster. The momentum of that work continued into the mid-70s, when my life took a different turn and making art went on the back burner. The hiatus lasted about 30 years, until my muse started visiting me in ways I could not resist. I found an artistic home at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, where I learned how to work in clay and got squirted with lots of WD-40 to open my rusty hinges. While my initial interest was in functional pottery, I found myself gravitating towards abstract sculpture, as if there remained unfinished work from my earlier years that I need to complete. At this point my work focuses on the expressive and fluid qualities of clay. I try to find the beauty that embraces awkwardness and contains a visceral energy. I tend to work by pulling together random elements until a relationship emerges and ultimately there is a feeling of necessity – it is so. Thus, the title of my first show: “Sudden Recognition of Random Certainty.” In a certain way the pieces make themselves, and my own role is rather minor; as Leonard Cohen said, “poetry comes from a place that no one commands, that no one conquers.”
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